Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge has always been a favourite and that includes before it flooded and closed in 2021. It's back again (after renovations and a rebuild) and we're happy to announce it's now even better than before. Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge has always been the most authentic Kalahari lodge we've come across and now also the most luxurious in the area, easily living up to the likes of Twyfelfontein Adventure Camp, in Damaraland and Desert Homestead Lodge near Sossusvlei.
Most Kalahari offerings, being a few hours' drive south of Windhoek enroute to the Namib Desert, aim at the stopover market. Folly for the Kalahari is quite possibly the most enchanting, serene and beautiful piece of African bush you could ever hope to experience. And experience it you will at Red Dunes Lodge with a variety of hiking trails ranging from a few hours to fully guided, luxury overnight walks through the achingly beautiful Kalahari landscape with plenty of wildlife and birdlife to see along the way.
Each of the 13 chalets (including a one bedroomed and two bedroomed superior suite) have a different layout, but you can be sure they are all equally as spacious and the views, equally as impressive. Ok, the superior suites are slightly larger and have their own private pools, but trust us when we say you have space enough. The chalets, spread far and wide around a central watering hole, are delightfully ramshackle African huts with thatched roofs, adobe walls, wooden decks and a living area. The soft Kalahari grass grows right up to the edge and the whole place has a refreshing absence of lawns, palm tress or water features - it's just you and nature plus with the necessary creature comforts thrown in.
Those comforts include a natural stone-tiled en suite bathroom with plenty of hot water and flushing toilets. An additional outdoor shower looks out over the waterhole and the red dunes beyond. Furnished in a style of African chic with leather, velvet and bright scatter cushions it's a mix of rustic and elegant with a homely feel. The main lodge, themed in the same way but just a lot bigger than the already big chalets, has a wonderful dining area, bar, whiskey and cigar lounge and an open deck facing the waterhole. A swimming pool off to one side is a splendid place to watch the Kalahari plains game pass by. And to top it all, the Red Dunes Lodge is just off the main road south from Windhoek. The two-hour drive is all tar except for the last 3km once you are in the private reserve grounds. So you can be out in the bush, experiencing the wonder of the Kalahari just two hours after clearing customs at the airport. Not a bad way to start the day.
Hiking, hiking and more hiking, the Red Dunes Lodge is a hiking and outdoor activity destination with the wonderful Trans Kalahari Walk taking first prize. The private reserve also has many well-marked trails for self-guided, self-paced hikes and a chance to see wildlife which includes giraffe, zebra, eland, oryx, wildebeest, nyala, springbok, ostrich, impala and many fascinating birds, insects and reptiles.
You can also follow the trails on good quality mountain bikes (there are fat bikes too) or classic game drive vehicle stopping for a scenic sunset cocktail atop a Kalahari dune. And with a record-breaking marathon runner in residence, the lodge has a special hard-packed jogging trail up to 20km long so if you really want to stretch your legs after that long flight what better way than a run through the wilds of the Kalahari?
Note: If you'd like to do a sleepout expedition without having to walk there and back for the night, you can spend the day at the lodge, take a vehicle transfer at sunset to your camp beneath the stars and return again to the lodge in the morning.
"NTS organized the trip wonderfully!"
We felt that the trip kept getting better every day
"The trip of our lives!"
Everything was excellently planned by Ashlee at Namibia Tours & Safaris.
"A truly wonderful and memorable trip"
Namibia, it's countryside, people and wildlife really should be on everyone's bucket list of places to visit!
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Super clear communication, great recommendations and just really clear logistics.